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Thread: Possible upgrades for a C50 Olympus based system

  1. #1
    Junior Member Audiosaurus's Avatar
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    Possible upgrades for a C50 Olympus based system

    I have lurked, searched, quested, ...

    1967 Buy JBL C50 Olympus S7R.
    mid-1980s Reconfiguration to 3-way system. New horns, crossovers, 077s, cutouts in back of cabinets.
    1994-1996 Re-cone woofers, N8000 new Lpads, LE85 align diaphragm, dealer tests all components.
    12-2015 Most recent re-foam LE15As.
    08-2018 Inspection, cleaning, spectrum testing, catch upgraditis.
    So: JBL C-50 cabinet with S7-1 (LE15A, LE85, HL92, LX13), PR15, N8000, 077 and original HL91s in closet.

    I am contemplating a project for long lonely Winter nights:

    1. Replacing all inter speaker wire with something like NeoTech stranded UPOCC copper in teflon.
    I do not expect much but will feel better about doing it.

    2. Doing whatever can be done to improve the sound quality. I am willing to spend, excluding secret sauces, whatever will
    produce results commensurate with the expense. The crossovers are 35 years old so they are my first thought.

    I have considered:
    Lipstick on a pig?
    Relax and enjoy as is?
    Buying new products but have not found anything.

    LX13 was the consumer version of the 3110 Pro Network which are available used.
    The crossover housing itself may be too small to stuff with replacement poly caps so I might build external crossovers cannibalizing 3110s and getting new capacitors, Lpads, whatever.

    And do something similar with respect to the N8000.

    All comments, suggestions, criticisms are appreciated. I am flameproof. It comes with age.
    Why is that star growing brighter?

  2. #2
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    Here are two quick ideas; things that would make a real improvement:

    1) Bi-amp. Not necessarily the digital whiz-bang (unless you are a computer nerd), perhaps an Ashley or the old Luxman 2003 (tubes). Interesting experiment if you have never done it before. More wires, gear and general clap-trap, increased maintenance. Sounds good!

    2) Convert to L300/4333B - like configuration. Seems most everyone likes this package; seems close to optimum. Hard-wired, simple, sounds good. It updates the crossover and replaces the LE15A with 2235H. It's a complete JBL engineered package. Remove your passive radiator and re-tune the enclosure. Use your present horns.


    There is no panacea, as you know. But, just revising caps, wiring, etc. will not "get it." Good winter hobby!

  3. #3
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    There were also upgrade paths, at the time (375/2440 and short 2311-type horn) along with a change to the bass/mid crossover assy.
    Optimizing that with other changes would be less recipe following and more measure/tune/listen/learn, so in that sense I like the L300-ish
    path already presented... which would not preclude further incremental mods later, if interested.

  4. #4
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Having owned the S-7 and then adding the N-8000, and 077s the best sound I ever got from the system was building my own simple 8KHz network and replacing the lower crossover with a variable active crossover with an adjustable "knee".

    If you want to play with wires etc. you'll gain about as much good by simply cleaning all of the many contacts in the network chain and keeping your old wires.

    As for the caps, there is probably nothing wrong with them and without changing the topology I don't see any benefit to swapping caps and keeping these networks.

    I would either go active or go the L-300 route. You would likely get enough from the sale of the LE15As to cover a very clean pair of 2235Hs.


    Widget

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    There are two possibilities

    1. Keep the authentic design and upgrade key weaknesses

    C3 and C6 replace with Hovland capacitors
    Have the original Jbl aluminium diaphragm replaced with a new Radian 1225-16 diaphragm

    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/Net...atics/LX13.pdf

    This crossover used an auto transformer so l would leave that alone apart from new input connectors on the rear

    https://radianaudio.com/download/dia...2/?wpdmdl=3636

    It kind of is what it is.

    2. Modify the design with more advanced drivers or crossover design

    If you are open to real change and have diy skills there are numerous options.

    A larger 4 inch compression driver and horn atop the enclosure like a 2397 Smith horn or a 2390 or 2395 slant plate

    horn lens assembly http://www.jblpro.com/pub/obsolete/A...ns_Family1.pdf

    Within its limits the LE15 is quite a good woofer so l would not be in a rush to turf that out too early

    The Jbl Enclosure manual has system design charts with reference to matching the LE15 to various compression drivers

    and horns. The large slant plate horns are really cool and they have a particular sound that is retro with the look.

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...comp/page7.jpg

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...LE-15A-and-15B

    On the topic of crossover network design it’s difficult to get it right without some form of measurement system like Dayton kits

    If you go that route be prepared to do a lot of trial and error work

    Good luck with your project

  6. #6
    Junior Member Audiosaurus's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone.

    All of these suggestions are interesting to me. I see that I have much to investigate when I get a few rainy days. Depending upon how much of my time is involved there is even a chance that I could do this project by Thanksgiving.

    Just to re-iterate I will consider anything that gives good results.

    Thanks again.
    Why is that star growing brighter?

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